After enjoying the first two books in the World’s Fair books, I was keen to dive in to this latest one that has ties to the World Fair, but has shifted the setting to New York. The blend of historical backdrop, character building, strong story line and the author’s writing makes this such a fantastic reading experience from cover to cover.
The author provides lovely photos, drawings and notes to enhance the reading experience, too.
The story opens when Flossie Jayne learns her father will be unable to continue sending her to the art institute and she will now be staying at home sewing fashionable gowns with her mom meanwhile her father is off to the races, literally. However, another option is given her when Louis Comfort Tiffany stops by her art school looking for female artists to help finish his stained glass chapel World’s Fair exhibit when the male workers go on strike.
Flossie makes a clean break with her parents determined to show them that she can do it all on her own. She moves into a boarding house, begins her job and tries to ignore the jabs from others about her New Woman status. She doesn’t feel like one of those New Women, but because she wants to work and she lives alone that is what she is considered.
Reeve Wilder isn’t impressed with the chatty magpie who has moved into the room next to his and sets about disrupting his whole world. She pushes everyone out of their comfortable existence with her parlor games, table questions and insistence that everyone is family. He writes his articles about these New Women and begins a serial story to let off a little spleen when Flossie really angers him.
Through ups and downs, heartaches, loneliness and daily life, both Flossie and Reeve grow as people and grow to appreciate each other, but trouble interferes and they part though both look back with lingering feelings of regret and wishing for a different outcome.
The late nineteenth century was a bustling, exciting time and I enjoyed getting this story set during this period of change and industry. The details of the work and life as a Tiffany Girl, the life in a boarding house, the life of a newspaper reporter and writer, and the general historical times was so well done. The balance with the story was perfect.
The story was split view between Flossie and Reeve. I enjoyed having both as narrators and getting to know both. They come from very different backgrounds and see the world so differently. I confess that at first, I liked Flossie, but I saw her pretty much as Reeve did when she was digging into his business and forcing him to accept her managing ways. It was as Flossie grew and gained experience that I truly appreciated her. She meant no harm and she really wanted to do good by all who she encountered. She did good by Reeve even if he was reluctant for the changes she brought.
This was a story that the romance was less prominent though it was there. The reader and other characters figures out quickly what it takes Reeve and Flossie a long time. They are adorable together and I enjoyed the way their relationship unwound through the story.
All in all, this was wonderful from cover to cover. I would definitely recommend it to Historical Fiction readers and readers of Sweet Historical Romance.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.